It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even for 2020. The lights are twinkling, the songs are playing and the treats are flowing. We all need this magical time more than ever. But it can be a confusing time for our children, who crave routine and stability. We’re not suggesting that Christmas is cancelled, far from it, but some simple Montessori principles can help navigate the season with as few tears and tantrums as possible. Here are some Montessori tips that might come in useful this December:

  • Stick to a routine
    Dr Maria Montessori encouraged us to respect the different pace at which a child’s life operates, rather than trying to speed up their world. This applies more than ever at Christmas. Try as much as possible to stick to the usual routine at home – meal times, bedtimes. However busy the festive period may be, this will enable your child to feel comfortable and emotionally at ease
  • Signpost activities and keep the child up to date with events
    Where possible, give your child advanced warning about what’s happening and when. Whilst most children under six don’t have a developed sense of time, they will still appreciate the heads up about the festivities ahead – who they’ll be seeing, if they’ll be staying away from home etc.
  • Involve your child in the festive preparations
    Children as young as three are very capable of helping with jobs such as; setting the table, simple tasks with food preparation and clearing and tidying. Involve your child as much as possible to help with their sense of independence and responsibility

We’ve also shared some of our super simple festive Montessori activities as well – let us know if you take part in any of these this Christmas, we’d love to hear how you get on!

Home-made wrapping paper
We get some good old-fashioned brown paper and a load of paint. Your child can choose some of their favourite colours and design, print, wash, paint away. Once dry, this unique crafted wrapping paper can enclose the most special presents.

Festive shapes
For pre-schoolers, drawing around festive cookie cutters can be a great, Christmassy way to work on some fine motor skills. Colour in the shapes and try and find similar shapes and forms amongst your household decorations. Punch a hole in the top and thread through a bit of string or wool – another fine skill to practice!

Christmas card jigsaws
Cut old Christmas cards in half and use them as little festive jigsaw games. Split the cards into two piles and ask the children to match up the correct Christmas cards. The older the child, the more complex the jigsaw can be. With younger children, start with a simple line down the middle of the cards so that the images are easily identified.

Decorating a table top tree
Decorating the Christmas tree is a very exciting task for little hands and takes lots of skill as well, but us grown ups may not want the baubles rearranging two or three times every day! A small, table top tree with some old decorations can be a solution to this. Something which the children can decorate and re-decorate every day to their hearts’ content. It’s a super fun festive task and keeps the family Christmas tree well and truly safe.

Merry Christmas to all from Yorkshire Montessori Nurseries.